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Body Heat (1981)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 9,643

My Rating

Movie Info

Lawrence Kasdan's first directorial effort is a throwback to the early days of film noir. The scene is a beastly hot Florida coastal town, where naive attorney Ned (William Hurt) is entranced by the alluring Matty (Kathleen Turner in her film debut). Ned is manipulated into killing Matty's much older husband (Richard Crenna), the plan being that Ned's knowledge of legal matters will enable both conspirators to escape scott-free. This might have been the case, had not Matty been infinitely


Mystery & Suspense

Nov 18, 1997

Warner Home Video

Watch It Now



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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (1) | DVD (14)

Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 noir fable is highly derivative in its overall conception, but it finds some freshness in its details.

February 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though Lawrence Kasdan's film is set in today's South Florida, its characters move through an atmosphere that suggests the confluences of decor and demeanor in a 1940s film noir.

February 8, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's no denying the narrative confidence that brings the film to its unfashionably certain double-whammy conclusion.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While Body Heat involves murder, fraud, a weak hero led astray and a seductive, double-dealing broad, it also incorporates something new: a sexual explicitness that the old films could only hint at.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Body Heat is good enough to make film noir play like we hadn't seen it before.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Steamy, explicit and highly-charged film noir reworked with an 1980s gloss.

February 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Still regarded as one of the steamiest movie's of all time, Body Heat is a fantastic exponenet of how noir has developed.

February 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

An excellent crime drama in the style of Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and Dashiell Hammett.

February 8, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Suspenseful and supersexy.

November 13, 2006 Full Review Source:

...builds slowly, then grabs you and never lets go.

October 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The setup is classic noir that follows the rigid three-act screenplay structure that only a Hollywood newcomer could stringently abide by, and here it works

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source:

Welcome to Hollywood Mr. Kasdan.

January 1, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Steamiest movie ever--still

October 19, 2004

Body Heart mixes sex with murder and comes up with a steamy brew of surprises.

January 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The great modern film noir

January 9, 2004
Lawrence Journal-World

A sexy, thrilling and smart modern classic.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

Overwrought, rubbishy, unrealistic, but compelling

October 16, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Hurt and Turner sizzle. Thrills, Spills and Undergarments.

September 18, 2002

Kathleen Turner, twenty-five and not a stitch on her. There's other good stuff too, but does it really matter?

August 13, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

One of the very few "noir throwbacks" that gets everything right.

July 25, 2002

William Hurt makes a good sleazeball, especially with his bad mustache.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for Body Heat

Finally got round to watching this as heard it was a great thriller and Kathleen Turner's first film role. It looks very old and dated more like an early 70's film. It starts far too slow for me with not much happening for the first half of a long run time. Once the pace picked up towards the end and plot unraveled I did like it a lot more. It has some neat twists in it and I can see how this influenced the likes of the Wild Things thrillers just for one example. If you like thrillers it's worth sticking with for the 2nd half of the film.
January 18, 2013

Super Reviewer

Oh my goodness it is so Dramatic wit a capital D, but in a good, film noirish, sweat-dripping-off-the-body kind of way.
May 26, 2012

Super Reviewer

Perfectly woven erotic thriller, made from the same cloth of noir classics "The postman always rings twice" and "Double indemnity". Sensuality fill its air thanks to great writing, John Barry's jazzy score and the debutant Kathleen Turner's presence. Destiny and greed always step on a murderous pact between lovers.
September 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

Ned: You better take me up on this quick. In about 45 minutes, I'm going to give up and go away.á

I'd been told Body Heat was a fantastic movie, but before watching it for myself I had my doubts. First, I was never a big Kathleen Turner fan. Also, it just didn't look like a movie that could entertain me for two hours. I'm glad to say I was wrong. Kathleen Turner turned in an amazing performance as Matty Walker and the movie was not lacking in entertainment and suspense. It had it all. It was an erotic, suspenseful crime-thriller.

Watching Turner and Hurt on the screen together was real joy. This was Turner's first role and Hurt's second, but they looked like veterans on the screen. Their chemistry was spot on perfect and left you satisfied with their relationship. Ted Danson turned in a nice little supporting role as Ned's(Willaim Hurt) best friend. Although he wasn't on screen all that much, when he was, he played his role really well.

The story seems pretty straight forward and I thought the movie was going to go the length without a twist. I thought it was going to be a what you see is what you get movie. That however isn't the case in the end. The film didn't cheat with it's twist though. It makes sense and if you think back, you can see how this could have happened. It's a real testament to both the filmmaker and to both Hurt and Turner.á

Lawrence Kasden, in his film debut also, weaves a very compelling and believable noir. Hurt and Turner look so authentic together that you think their relationship is real. The way they look at each other. The way they talk to each other. The way they touch each other. It all looks so genuine and realistic, that I almost forgot I was watching a movie altogether.á

Body Heat is a masterpiece in every single conceivable way. áIt is influenced by the film noir's of the 40's and 50's and that influence is easily seen. Even in a 1980's setting the 40 and 50's influences don't seem out of place. Everything works so well together. The dialogue, settings, music, performances, and even the way the smoldering heat of Florida is used. It all fits together in the most perfect way to make an amazing film experience.
July 23, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Ned Racine: Me? I need tending. I need someone to take care of me. Rub my tired muscles. Smooth out my sheets.
    2. Matty Walker: Get married.
    3. Ned Racine: I just need it for tonight.
    – Submitted by L M (18 months ago)
    1. Matty Walker: You aren't too bright. I like that in a man.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Body Heat - Eine hei▀kalte Frau (DE)
  • Fuego en el cuerpo (ES)
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